Great Ribbon Decorating Ideas for Christmas

I’ve always had a love of textiles and trimmings and with the festive season upon us, I thought I’d share with you some great ribbon decorating ideas for Christmas.

Jane Means ribbon

Ribbon by Jane Means

Aside from the very obvious way that ribbon is used lavishly, luxuriously and in flamboyant, festive ways to wrap gift boxes at Christmas, it is an extremely versatile product that can be used all over the home to assist in the creation of an embellished and decorated Christmas.

 

What about selecting three or four colours to compliment your personal Christmas pallet and, instead of the traditional paper chain, making a ribbon chain or garland instead…  Ribbon widths can be uniform or you can mix widths and fabric types.

 

Baubles are beautiful on a tree but showering your Christmas tree with hand tied bows, large or small, or twirling wide, wired ribbon around and around your tree is beautiful if you wish to soften the style of decoration.

 

Wreaths with an abundance or red ribbon are seasonally enhanced and very appealing.

Ribbon wreath

Image Courtesy of Clifton Nurseries

Banisters and dining chairs need not go undecorated at this time of year.  Drape or wrap an evergreen garland from top to bottom of your staircase banister and dress with bows and hanging, curled ribbons, along with other festive decorations.  Dining chair backs, tied with a large ribbon with a snuggly held candy cane, place name ‘gift tag’ or prettily wrapped table gift are a practical addition to Christmas table settings.

Sophiasdecor

Image courtesy of Sophias Decor

If the pictures around the walls of your home appear neglected in terms of Christmas decoration, then embellish one top corner of random frames with a sprig of holly, tied with copious lengths of ribbon and secure with easily removed, non-damaging sticky tape.

 

Tall candlesticks are another seasonal decoration where snuggly tied bows and draping ribbons can add elegance.  An embellishment at the candle base and some well chosen satin or velvet ribbon on either one or a grouping of candles will enhance a table setting or fireplace and add that cosy Christmas feel that we all love.

Bauble ribbon

Image courtesy of Red Online

Light fittings are often designed in such a way that they lend themselves to being transformed into Christmas chandeliers.  With the addition of fine thread-suspended baubles, draped evergreen garlands and lots of twirled, tied and curled, hanging ribbons, a dramatic chandelier can quickly be created.  This can add an effective centrepiece to any room and is a great suggestion for light fittings that are positioned over dining tables.

Recycled crafts

Image courtesy of Recycled Crafts

Wherever evergreen garlands are hung, draped and displayed for Christmas, attaching randomly positioned, ribbon tied bows with a little florist wire always adds subtle, seasonal detail.  Bow-decorated, garlands, sit beautifully along fireplaces and window sills, fit, grandly from floors to ceilings in room corners and, when draped and equidistantly clipped, embellish seasonal table edges to perfection

I always love to see new creative used for ribbon, especially off cuts and roll ends. Feel free to share your ideas with us on Instagram and Facebook…we’d love to see your photos.  x

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Gift Wrapping at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons with Jonathan Moseley

I am thrilled to have been invited to team up with leading floral designer and floristry industry consultant, Jonathan Mosely for a wonderful Winter Workshop event at the breathtaking location of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

Created by the celebrated chef, Raymond Blanc OBE, this renowned and stunning manor house hotel and cookery school, nestled in the village of Great Milton, in Oxfordshire, has been somewhere I have wanted, so much, to visit for a very long time and now I am so lucky, not only to be staying there, but, to be demonstrating, alongside Jonathan, on December 19th, this year.

Le Manoir

Image courtesy of Amara

This fine hotel has held 2 Michelin stars since 1984, is synonymous with high quality, elegance and luxury and I cannot wait to see how the festive season is presented in such a wonderful location.

The special one-day event, entitled, ‘Deck the Halls’ will see Jonathan and myself teaming up to assist participants in their quest to craft an unforgettable Christmas.  Jonathan will be making some stunning seasonal flower displays whilst I will be presenting some imaginative and styles of festive gift wrapping.  Due to the prestigious location, there will also be an opportunity for all concerned to sample some spectacular dining in sumptuous surroundings and, I must confess, I am looking forward very much to spending a December day at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

jonothan moseley

For those who do not know, Jonathan Mosely is a freelance floral designer, based in Derbyshire.  He is known for his humorous, friendly approach and, aside from appearing on ‘The Big Allotment Challenge’  BBC programme recently, he works as a floristry industry consultant, teaches the art and skill of floral display and takes commissions to design and execute ‘event flowers’ on a large scale.  He is famous for his floral artistry and skill and for combining his love of nature with his distinctive and innovative arranging techniques.

Christmas wreath

Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

I am excited to be sharing the spotlight with someone who is so highly talented and, given my own experience as a florist, I am looking forward to picking up some advice and advanced creative tips on December 19th.

The Manor house itself is one of the most treasured manor house hotels in the UK and the gardens have a reputation for being something very special to behold.  Aside from the lavender lined pathways, extensive English lawns and vegetable and herb gardens, the hotel has its own orchards, a mushroom valley which, among other varieties, produces shiitake mushrooms and there are rows of cloche tunnels, under which various flowers are grown for creative use in the hotel kitchen.  The hotel also boasts a water garden, dating back to the 16th Century.  It was created, by monks, who occupied the site at that time.

 


Jane Means cover girl

 

Photo courtesy of Journal Magazine

For those who are attending the event, I hope we can make it everything and so much more than you are hoping for.  It plans to be a most welcoming, enjoyable , sociable and creatively educational day and I look forward to meeting everyone there.

For more details head over to the Belmond Events Page

See you there x

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Gift wrapping a luxurious Christmas hamper basket

There is nothing more I love at Christmas than to receive a wicker hamper packed with speciality foods and luxury wine.  It is a perfect gift for anyone and can be made bespoke with personalised presents.
fortnum and mason hamper
Fortnum and Mason are renowned for their hampers, which are filled with gourmet biscuits, speciality teas, crackers, petty fours, and wine and Champagne.
I remember as a child when my parents received one, and they still use the branded hamper to this day for blanket storage (Wicker hampers are particularly good for this as fabrics are able to breathe).
Fortnum and Mason Hamper
Hamper baskets come in different shapes and sizes, and the most popular ones are with a box and lid.  I love this style as it makes a great storage box once you’ve consumed the contents.  We wrap lots of hampers for clients and these by far are the favourite.
There are many variations of hamper boxes on the market including your wicker hamper through to boxes made with card, wood and leather (prices vary considerably).
pile of baskets
It is a good idea to choose your packaging first as there are limited options when buying hampers and boxes. If you are giving hampers away at Christmas do by your supplies and gift wrapping early as suppliers may run out of stock.
There are several basket makers in the UK who could also make a bespoke size and shape for you.  You will also find some great baskets on Ebay
Once you have chosen your box or basket it is time to fill it.   You will need some padding such as shred, foam peanuts, tissue and Cellophane.
hamper filling
I always line it first with cellophane then add the tissue on top.  You can also sprinkle pot pourri in the basket (think of Rowan Atkinson in ‘Love Actually’) or lightly spray the tissue with a winter fragrance (M+S do some great ones for £5)
Dried rosebuds for weddings
Bear in mind that if you have bought lots of products they may not all fit in, so it’s a good idea to have a practice run using your own groceries before you go shopping.
fortnums tea
Once you have chosen your products, look at the whole range and imagine them in layers.  I tend to segregate them in to piles of robust, medium and fragile
Pack the heaviest and rigid items at the bottom such as bottles, ensuring they or packed tight (or there is plenty of padding between them) and the label is showing.
Paper-and-Parcel-sweater-wine-sleeve
You will then start layering the products and filling the hamper.  Play safe and wrap breakable jars and bottles with bubble wrap (they can have an additional layer of tissue or be wrapped in a thick fabric to make them look more elegant). It would be a disaster if anything breaks in transit.
Delicate items such as Pannetone, crackers and mince pies should be placed at the very top to avoid them being crushed.
daylesford-organic-christmas-pudding
To add extra luxury to the hamper, line it with a rich metallic tissue such as this gold one. I fold the sides in to a slightly narrow width so placement is easy. It gives a polished interior finish.
Once you have completed the layering process of your products, Close the lid and add your written and decorations. If you have any spare space at the sides pad it well with tissue.
pleated box by jane means
Finishing detailing is really important so in this one I have pleated the paper whilst wrapping a box of biscuits to give that luxurious effect. When I am gift wrapping for Dior, we always do this pleating process with tissue and add it to the top of the bag (The French term is called ‘applice’).
carved angel jam
I also add paper lids and decorations to jars, and love the luxury range of chutneys and Jams from Carved Angel (Their Christmas Puddings were voted ‘The Best’ by the Times and they are always mobbed at the Country Living Fair)
Christmas-Fortnum-Mason-London-Christmas-Crackers
Large gaps in your hamper can soon be filled with Pannetone or Christmas Crackers.  If you have any small spaces they can be filled with candy canes or small bags of festive treats. You can buy these from luxury outlets such as Daylesford or Fortnum and Mason although you can get a cheaper alternative  from Aldi or Lidl
If your hamper is heavy it is a good idea to add some bricks, wooden blocks or rolls of ribbon under the corners so you can access the underneath easily with your ribbon.
dior hamper basket
If you are packing a hamper  that is open with or without a handle,  it is a good idea to have the smaller items at the back. I packed this luxury hamper for the Dior in Paris and had to get the balance right. In the gaps I made some handmade ribbon roses to highlight the floral theme.
We have gift wrapped many hampers for clients and one note of advice is don’t rush. The interior needs to be the focal point and you want the wow factor to happen when the lid is opened.  I hope this helps your Christmas hamper project and I would love to see any photos on our Twitter or Facebook Page.
Categories: Christmas, Gift Wrapping Service, Inspiration, Projects & Demos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Appear on ITV with Gino and Mel

 

 

Would you like to appear on ‘Let’s do Lunch’ with Gino and Mel?

itv logo

 

ITV are looking for the fastest gift wrappers in the UK to come on the show

Apply by 3rd August by sending us an email to ruth.breading@itv.com.

T&Cs at itv.com/terms

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Categories: Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Tips + Techniques, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Country Living Scotland Fair

I’ve just returned from a week up in Glasgow working at the Country Living Fair.  My first couple of days were spent dressing the stand.  I was also asked by the magazine to dress the Winter Cabin

Naturally being a Christmas show, I wanted to add plenty of sparkle and decided to create a festive wrapping room complete with a dressed Christmas tree and plenty of decorations.

With only 3 hours to do the feature we decided to fill the area with handpicked items from exhibitors at the fair, and a selection of my own ribbons and trimmings.

We also added rich coloured gift boxes, tied with pretty ribbon and baubles.  Some of them we stacked in piles under the tree to give an eye catching effect.

Our little stand was full of ribbons and trimmings.  We spent hours decorating it in to a creative and quirky feature, and were delighted when the press popped by to take some photos.

I was also involved with the Country Living Craft Theatre where I did daily gift wrapping workshops

The step by step masterclasses were really popular and were often full way before the start time, so it was a race against time to make extra packs up so more people could join in!

I always enjoy my visits to Scotland, and it was lovely to see my regular clients and meet new customers.  I also stayed on an extra day to run a fully booked gift wrapping course at the prestigious One Devonshire Hotel Du Vin.

Despite a nightmare train journey on the way back due to the floods, it was a great week and I’ve already booked my stand for next year.  See you there!

 

Categories: Christmas, Projects & Demos, Ribbon | Tags: , ,